35 years of the Tour

Along with new and expanded routes, you’ll find a 12 page keepsake guide in your packets when you arrive at the Tour de Gap. As part of the guide, co-director Mark Spurlock has put together the first history of the Tour. By talking with tour pioneers such as Paul Schulze and Mike Thomesen and spending a lot of time looking through files at the library, he found that while the Tour has been consistently one of the most popular annual rides west of the I-35 corridor, it has changed and grown over the years.

EarlyshotwithGaryFor example…

  • Dr. Paul Schulze, a physics professor, wrote a program for the early TRS-80 computers that would organize the timing results of the race.
  • In 1988 the Tour was a sanctioned U.S. Cycling Federation (now USA Cycling) race.
  • The first tour’s starting line was at Abilene State Park and it was called “A View from the Top.”
  • Biketown’s involvement began shortly after the store’s founding by Jim and Kelly MacDonald.
  • Big Brothers-Big Sisters has been serving the Abilene area since 1978, even longer than the Tour has been in existence. It is one of three major fundraising events BBBS does annually.

You can download copies of Paul Schulze’s newspaper clippings about the Tour:

1986: That’s Gary Fraser on the left!!
Middle photo 1987, above
Right story, 1988 above

Special thanks to Dr. Paul Schulze and Mike Thomesen for their memories and sharing photos.

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